Kate's Fear of TMJ

How To Keep Shallow Gums Clean After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Getting your wisdom teeth taken out means you have to take special steps in order to care for your oral health following surgery. Stopping any bleeding, keeping your mouth clean, and preventing blood clots from breaking while your gums are still healing are some of these necessary steps. However, one common nuisance people experience with their wisdom teeth extraction sites after the gums have finished healing is shallow gums. Small pockets or dips in the gums can fill with debris and food and be a nuisance to clean. If you're having this problem, read on to learn why it happens and what you can do about it.

Why It's Hollow

When your wisdom teeth are extracted, it leaves behind a small pocket of empty space underneath your gums. Without bone or a tooth supporting the gum tissue, it collapses inward, taking on a shallow appearance. This is a normal process and nothing you need to worry about. However, if your gums take on the shape of a pocket or dip, they can essentially become pockets for mashed up food that you've chewed with your neighboring teeth. This can not only increase the risk of cavities forming in neighboring teeth, but it can also potentially cause an infection if the incision from your surgery hasn't completely healed yet.

Keeping it Clean

Simply brushing and flossing your teeth may not be enough to keep your shallow gums from accumulating food debris.

To keep your shallow gums clean, make sure to brush beyond your furthest molar in order to clear the pocket of any debris. Rinsing thoroughly with water or mouthwash can help to clear any remaining remnants. In addition, you can use a water flosser to blast away any remaining debris if your incisions have healed enough. Make sure to ask your dentist before using a water flosser.

Full Recovery Will Happen

If you're worried about having to deal with this problem forever, don't fret. Over time, your gums will return their natural position, level with all the surrounding gum surfaces. This is because the jaw bone will eventually gain enough mass to support the gums. Your dentist can assess how your jaw bone is doing with x-rays and physical examinations to determine how long it will take for your gums to return to normal.

For most people, removing wisdom teeth is a necessity. If you're worried about side effects of the procedure like shallow gums, talk to a dentistry professional like Little Peoples Dentistry to learn more about what you can expect and how to handle them.